It’s that time of year again: my best friend Olly’s birthday. Which equals a messy house party featuring everything in the title of this post, in copious amounts.
I have been sober for 17 days but tonight I return to my old ways. I am disappointed in myself, but the peer pressure is just so strong it’s impossible for me to fight it.
I take my first sip in over two weeks: the coconut liquor lingers on the tongue, the diet cola adding refreshment to an otherwise repulsive cocktail that sells itself as “the original Caribbean flavour.” I wince. At the same time, I relish it. I feel better already. Lifted, boosted, relieved. The relief, wow, I feel the weight disappearing from my heavy shoulders. I take another swig. The brown sugary liquid dribbles down my chin. I laugh. I wipe the excess from my chin, and lick it off my fingers. I am not an alcoholic, I tell myself.
Later, I will tip conspicuous white powder from a tiny plastic bag, rack it up on someone’s iPad, divide it as equally as possible, roll up a bus ticket, and shoot the stuff up my nose. I will feel better than I have felt in weeks. £45: a small price to pay for my happiness. I will talk, I will laugh, I will dance. I will be happy. “Tonight is strictly Johnson & Johnson,” said Olly this afternoon. “I know. No tears. Promise.” I replied. No more tears. I will not cry, I will be happy. With my booze and drugs, and flirting, and great music. We’ll listen to the Blues and talk the night away. I am not a drug addict.
I am me. I will be happy. Regardless of what it takes to get me there, tonight I’m checking in to the Hotel Happiness, because I deserve to. However I do it, I’m doing it.